Thursday, December 3, 2015

Christmas shopping in 1915

A century ago, in December 1915, Crawfordsville’s commercial district was advertising and preparing for the busy holiday shopping season just like today.  Similar to today’s holiday season, a great deal of advertising for holiday shoppers appeared throughout the Crawfordsville newspapers directly after the Thanksgiving of 1915.  The December 7, 1915 issue of the Crawfordsville Review ran an independent ad claiming, “SHOP EARLY IN THE SEASON." If your Christmas giving is to measure up to the true spirit of the season it should not be neglected until the last possible moment.   In the November 30, 1915 issue, the popular Louis Bischof Big Store ran an advertising relaying the message, “We urgently request of Patrons to make their Xmas purchases as early as possible.”  Commercial venues have always advocated for “early” shopping, but there was no mention of holiday shopping in the 1915 papers earlier than November 30 and after Thanksgiving.  This was the case because the tradition of “Black Friday” shopping did not begin until the late 1930s when President Franklin Roosevelt made the national proclamation of making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

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